Hearst's hired goons are making themselves comfortable in town, which in Deadwood means that they're alternately antagonizing Morgan Earp in the thoroughfare, beating the shit out of Merrick, and getting hauled to jail by their ears in the style Bullock had previously reserved for their employer. Wu has returned to Al with news of reinforcements stashed away in Custer City. But with the Wu/Swedgin lines of communication unusually muddled, it's Johnny who figures this all out. It's also Johnny who gets a frustrated slap from Al for his trouble. Aw.
Hearst gets a telegram that Odell has been killed, causing Aunt Lou to lose it, not unreasonably, and she ends up sobbing on the shoulder of her new BFF Richardson. With his back still paining him and his cook quietly cursing his name, Hearst takes a meeting with Jarry, who is back from Yankton with a message from the governor that the resources are in place to fix the Deadwood elections.
Langrishe's troupe gets to the business of entrenching themselves in the camp by first making a big ol' deposit at Alma's bank, and second by organizing a camp-wide talent show, the unquestioned highlight of which ends up being Richardson's mad juggling skillz. The troupe has also settled in the old Chez Amie/schoolhouse, meaning it's time to move the school children into their new building. Joanie and Jane are there to help Mr. and Mrs. Bullock escort the young ones across the ever-more-dangerous thoroughfare.
Elsewhere, Trixie and a sober Alma are friends again; the NG wheels Veggie Steve to the talent show but sadly does not employ him in any kind of ventriloquist act; and Al closes the episode with a sad little ditty sung to his empty saloon. Three episodes to go and he still seems at a loss as to what he should do.
Before we begin, I must extend my sincere thanks to Joe R for covering this episode's recaplet as well as a few others this season. I have been having a weird schedule this summer, traveling far more often than in previous seasons, and he is a mighty fine bastard for backing me up. I believe, also, you'll find he has a knife.
The day dawns pretty early for Morgan and Wyatt Earp. The two brothers get turned out of their respective beds at the Bella Union, receiving reluctant goodbyes from their whores. I guess the girls don't get many cute ones. If I had to mess around with the likes of Con and Leon all day, I'd be sad, too.
At the Bullocks' house, the sheriff talks to Martha. "One-third of six is two," he is saying. "The combination of the safe in the hardware store, which you should commit to memory against eventualities." He's being very serious, but she doesn't seem afraid. "As was threatened by the arrival of those men last night," she says. He confirms this and lists the contents of the safe, again giving her the mnemonic device to remember the combination: "One-third of six is two." She nods. "One-three-ought-six-two," she says, and he says yes, that's it. She smiles a little. "The children and I are moving into the new schoolhouse today," she says. He sits, saying that's good, and when he says he'll walk with her on the move, they both smile.
Speaking of the schoolhouse, Joanie and Mose are there now, checking it out. Apparently, the craftsman who put it up built it around a large tree in the center of the room. Joanie says she wishes they'd found out the whole story of this tree business so that they could tell the children. Mose says they did the best they could in that regard. "Does four desks to a row seem right?" Joanie asks, wringing her hands about the way they've set up the room. Mose can see she's worried and assures her that the desks aren't nailed down. Joanie squints a little and asks about what she's really worried about: "You ain't seen Jane?" Mose shakes his head.
In his rooms at the Grand Central, Hearst is meeting with the new fellas that arrived last night. Or should I say "the bricks"? Ugh. The smug bastard drinks from his saucer as he explains his strategy to the Head Brick. "The camp is to know they're here. The camp is to know they're my employees," he says. "If this knowledge came first from some disruption of traffic in the thoroughfare, I would have no objection...and matters might deteriorate from there." Hate. Why does damn Hearst drink from saucers anyway? I mean, I know people did this, but shut up, history. What is he, some kind of Japanese cat? It's such an affectation and it serves only to increase my loathing of the man tenfold.